The Night Calls

The ring of my phone stirs me out of my slumber. Sleepily, I try to determine reality from a dream. I reach for my phone, and read the name on the caller ID. I clear my throat and sit up. “Hello?”, I say. The voice on the other end is excited and hurried. “She's ready for you,” he says. After our conversation and all my questions are answered, I ask to speak with the mother. I listen to her sounds as she works through a contraction. Stepping out of bed, I respond, “It's time,” and we end our call.

Taking in the conversation and still waking up, I wonder. What time is it? What time did I fall asleep? Did I get enough rest? Do I have time to make a cup of coffee? I trust that God will provide what I lack and I pull on my scrubs.

The house is quiet as I hurry to pack a lunch and get ready. I tiptoe in and out of rooms, kissing sleeping faces. I double and triple check that my phone is in my pocket before locking the door behind me. Outside, the stars wave their soft light. The moon illuminates the path to my car. It's late and no one accompanies me, but I am not alone.

The GPS is set and I begin my journey to the laboring mother, whose journey began long before the call. Excitement races through my blood. I feel creation rejoicing with me. I try to quiet my busy mind and pray. I pray for wisdom, eyes of a hawk, skilled hands, and the heart of a lion. I pray that God will enable me to be everything the mother needs me to be. I thank God for calling me to this work and for the privilege of serving families in this way.

night birth

As I pull up to the house, I see the soft glow of lights inside. I reach for my equipment and walk towards the door, excited for what is waiting on the other side. The door opens and I'm greeted by the expectant father. I inhale the sweet smell of simmering herbs and essential oils. We pass the living room where I see her purple birth ball, a heating pad, and the leftovers of a smoothie. He leads me to her room where she labors peacefully in the birth pool. The candles in the room dance, casting shadows on the ceiling. Her deep breathing and gentle moans are heard above the quiet music. The water ripples as she sways her hips side to side. She is strong, capable, relaxed, safe, surrendered to the process. I set my things down quietly and move close to her. I whisper softly to her as I reach to hold her hand, “I'm here.”